Your very first amp? What was the first amplifier you had?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Kreshna, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. Kreshna

    Kreshna ...but I have to know.

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Like, what was the very first amplifier you owned? And when?

    My first amplifier had a brown, wooden casing, with silverface of sort. Lately I tried to remember what brand and model it was. It was a pretty basic amplifier, with only few control knobs. I recently thought it was Pioneer SA-500 due to its simplicity, but turned out I was wrong.

    Yes, I accidentally found this amplifier on ebay (no affiliation), then I realized: it was the brand and model my first amplifier belonged to. Yes, my very first amplifier was a Standard SR-157SU, given by my dad when I was 11 years-old. I couldn't be mistaken. The amplifier has obviously wooden casing, and black-accented silverface. It was also very simple, very basic amp. It doesn't even have "tape monitor" function.

    Yes, I was still a kid at that time, still in elementary school. But it was also the time dad gave me elementary lessons in audio, which started by connecting the tape player to the amplifier, then the amplifier to the speakers.

    [​IMG]
    The Standard Electronics SR-157SU (not mine)

    The speakers was a pair of Philips single-driver whose model I couldn't remember. The sound was warm, but rather shrill when played loud. Coincidentally, the Bowers & Wilkins DM302 I just bought somewhat reminds me of the upper-mid shrillness of the Philips, although the similarity ends there (because the B&Ws are much better, of course). In any case, I remember dad added a pair of car speakers, which add more top and bottom ends. So yes, we (me and my younger brother) used two pair of speakers simultaneously; the Philips single-driver on the floor, flanking our study desk, and the car audio speakers on the said desk. And the Standard SR-157SU amp doesn't even have A+B switch; it was a brute force method as we connected the two pairs of speakers in parallel.

    Now, I don't remember how exactly did they sound, but they sound pretty good. However, I just couldn't forget an oddity I experienced with the song The Great Pretender by Freddie Mercury (1987). The song closes with a series of synthesized strings riffs that fades away with each iteration. Now, the riffs at the minute 2:52 and 2:54 clearly sounded as if they come from the car speakers on the desk, but the later riffs at the minute 3:02 and 3:04 clearly came from the Philips single-drivers on the floor.

    That's really weird, because there is no way such simple amplifier could extrapolate surround sound from stereo channel. Also, the car audio speakers on the desk and the Philips single-driver on the floor are simply connected parallel --no Hafler circuit or such.

    Nonetheless, that was my very first experience with audio. Quite exciting.

    About two years later, my beloved mom (who sadly passed away in 2015) introduced us (me and my younger brother) to IBM PC compatible, and my hobby shifted to computers. In fact, I became quite a computer freak; immersing my teenage days with DOS games like Hero's Quest, F-15 Strike Eagle II, and Chris Crawford's The Global Dilemma: Guns or Butter. But I still have great interest in good sound. When other kids used flimsy, beige-colored computer speakers with their Sound Blaster, I already used the speakers and power amp section of dad's Kenwood DC-20. In 2007 I had forgotten many things about audio, but still had the instinct to choose musical-sounding multimedia speakers instead of Logitech's boom booms.

    So, that was the story of my very first amplifier, and the start of my great interest in good sound.

    How about yours?
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017

     

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  2. soundmig

    soundmig AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Kenwood KA-3500 in 76 or 77 - don't recall which year I got it. It was my senior year in H.S. - sounded great and loved it.
     
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  3. FileFixer

    FileFixer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Zagreb/Croatia
    I dont have a picturefor this amp but I preety remember what was that... My father take me him old amp somewhere from `70. when I was 15yo. This amp have 2x30W RMS at 8 Ohm and it was be hand made amp. It was be in wood enclosure from top and sides but front, bottom and rear was be on solid metal and front face is from polished aluminium with all signs on it made with site printing. Also this amp drive with 30V from inside on its enclosure with single transformer. Output is based on 2N3055 transistors. It have four imput with MM input and on it I ride my Dual CS-621 turntable. After that, when I was 18-20yo I`m decide to change and improve sound on it but never finish this work and amplifier did not work anymore. It stay disassemble and I forget on him, all pieces is today somewhere, who know where... This was be my beutiful past... :(
     
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  4. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    SE Alaska
    Mine was a Marantz 1120 integrated when I Was maybe 16 or so (1972ish). Sliders for the tone and balance controls and the heat sink and outputs were exposed outside the box. Was a pretty good amp till it started overhearing and shutting down . Used to sometime put ice packs (frozen beer once) on the sink till that didn't work anymore, then I brought the Kenwood 700 series and haven't really looked back since.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
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  5. SteveS in VA

    SteveS in VA Active Member

    Messages:
    189
    Dynaco Stereo 80 coupled with a PAT4 preamp. It powered a AR4x until replaced by a Dynaco A35. It was fine until I acquired Magnepan IIa speakers which really need more power. The power issue was solved with a Carver M400.
     
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  6. mikeybc

    mikeybc Listener

    Messages:
    2,726
    Location:
    Smooth Rock Falls, Ontario
    Was about 13 or 14 when my uncle gave me a 20 watt Bogen DB-20df mono amp he built from a kit n the 50's. I used it a lot in the the early 80's then occasionally up to the late 90's early 2000's I still have it but I'm afraid to power it up now.
     
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  7. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    Dynaco Stereo 120 kit, May 1970
     
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  8. qdrone

    qdrone Music is my mistress

    Messages:
    4,906
    Location:
    just a taste outside the law
    Nikko 819 intergrated amp.
     
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  9. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

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    1,300
    Lafayette LA-975 back in 1976, along with its matching tuner.

    9642836683_6b4fffa111_b.jpg
     
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  10. slobmw

    slobmw New Member

    Messages:
    26
    My older brother took me to San Antonio's Bjorns in 1984 or so, where the obvious choice for a high school kid was the NAD 3120 and Boston A60s. Thanks brah!
     
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  11. Aptone

    Aptone AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    461
    Location:
    Vermont
    Sansui AU-D7 integrated amp, I bought in about 1982, and I still have it. I fired it up the other day with some Timeframe TF-500s, sounded really good!

    upload_2017-12-15_22-33-9.png
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
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  12. NeedForSpeed

    NeedForSpeed Hands Off The Stereo Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    IMG_0248.JPG IMG_0246.JPG
    Hafler-DH-500. Great sounding amp, And well built.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
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  13. ictwoody

    ictwoody I like vintage gear — my preamp is from 2007. Subscriber

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    Location:
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    Tuesday, February 22, 2011. I setup this rig. It’s been all down hill from here. Marantz 6300 TT with Shure M97Xe. Marantz 1060. Dynaco A25’s.

    I’ve basically rebuilt this system again now for my bedroom rig. All these pieces were sold within a couple years of getting into the hobby.

    - Woody

    F71045EC-BA06-442E-9CDA-290F18F79549.jpeg
     
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  14. johnebravo

    johnebravo I should be practicing

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Your post really made me smile. I bought an extremely similar amp at a thrift store a few years ago for $5. Couldn't resist. I'm sure I can remember seeing a unit like it many years ago at someone's house, and nostalgia must've kicked in and overpowered reason.

    The model number is slightly different: it's a SR-A401AU. It has a couple of additional switches: loudness (woo -- fancy!) and a tape monitor switch instead of a tape position on the selector. It actually has a switch on the back for MAG and X'TAL phono cartridges (I'm not even sure I know exactly what that means! Ceramic carts, I'm guessing.) The stupid thing still works, so I guess I shouldn't be entirely dismissive!

    (A search indicates that in 1970 it sold for around $90; the ad specifies that it is 60watts. That can't be right. http://fultonhistory.com/Newspapers 21/Buffalo NY Courier Express/Buffalo NY Courier Express 1970/Buffalo NY Courier Express 1970 - 3175.pdf) It also specifically mentions the SR-157SU; $70, man!

    The earliest amp I can remember actually having myself (at about the age of 14-16, I'd say) was a tube amp that was in an old Admiral console with built-in stereo speakers; I sat an Akai Invert-O-Matic cassette deck on top of the whole deal. The turntable in the console was too shitty to dare use it for any record that you actually cared about, so it was cassettes only in those days. I'm sure this was it:
    https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/mid-century-admiral-stereophonic-1695615488
    Ah, good times . . .
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
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  15. bobins08

    bobins08 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,449
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Pioneer SA 5200 integrated amp.

    Great sounding 10 Watts per channel. Bought it in 1973. Gave it to my brother in 1983. He still has it. it still works.
     
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  16. slow_jazz

    slow_jazz Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    13,618
    Location:
    SE Michigan, Downriver....
    This is a picture Electrovoice V1122

    After owning my Electrophonic I moved up in the world.

    I bought this used from my older brothers friend.

    Never let me down..

    ELECTRO-VOICE E-V 1122 PREAMPLIFIER (800x424).preview.jpg
     
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  17. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights " Subscriber

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  18. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

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    15133188526131642629519.jpg
    Still have it, it sounds great, currently sitting idle waiting to be gifted to my son
     
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  19. tubed

    tubed Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    14,013
    Location:
    Aztlan
    Yamaha CA-1000
    back when new was the only way to fly.
    That and 50% off at Pacific Stereo
    audio_1974-09_Yamaha-1000_1.jpg
     
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  20. vonclod

    vonclod AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,420
    Location:
    Vancouverish
    Bang and Olufsen Beomaster 4000
    198580-vintage_bang__olufsen_beomaster_4000_stereo_amplifier.jpg

    I got at about the age of 13, would of been around 1980. A friend gave it to me and I loved it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
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